On Create Digital Motion today, I write about the 1.5 release of ArKaos GrandVJ, the latest version of the popular Mac and Windows VJ tool. The big innovation: insert a VST plug-in into software like Ableton Live, and you can pipe MIDI and audio to your live visuals for easy synchronization and collaboration. You can even, as the video demonstrates, run an Ethernet cable between two machines. (This works on both Mac and Windows, despite the appearance of only Apple laptops in the video.)

GrandVJ is doubly interesting for readers on the music site, as it’s long featured a music-centric interface (a black-and-white piano keyboard was a feature of the earliest versions of ArKaos), alongside easy MIDI assignment. (APC20 support was recently added alongside out-of-the-box, bi-directional control with Akai’s APC40.) GrandVJ also boasts terrific, media server-quality performance at the price of a VJ app.

Stay tuned for more tests, and a round-up of live visual tools. (Or, if you like, volunteer to help us out or make requests on the kind of information you’d like to see.)

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what we’re covering in the live visual scene, so if you aren’t already reading Create Digital Motion with your Create Digital Music feed, come check it out / follow both sites on Twitter and Facebook. And believe me; I’m not just being self-promotional here — a lot of us want to see more live visuals when we go out to shows! Vive le revolution audiovisual.

ArKaos GrandVJ 1.5 Packs in Features; Talks to Music Apps via Plug-in

  • Why does it have to be the VJ app that I DON'T use that adds this feature?  😉  Really though, any advanced VJ app can connect through MIDI messages – I guess the VST plug in just makes it that much easier?  (I was also surprised to note that PC audio app FL Studio now has some decent visual tools within?)  Just remember everyone -there's a lot more to good visuals than activating some automated features!  So be sure to book a real live VJ for your shows.  😉  I'd be glad to discuss that, or any other things VJ.

  • j0hnny

    I'd like to hear some opinions on the best options for AV performance tools to accompany an Ableton Live set using a Mac.
    TouchDesigner is looking good, but would need to run under bootcamp and are recommended for use with NVIDIA graphics cards).
    Would it be wiser to focus on software that incorporates Quartz composer for Mac machines?

  • Sorry to be so cynic, but on Win95 I remember an early version of MediaPlayer that could do the same thing. Yes, streaming MIDI out of a VST is cool – but there are tons of software that do it – also, what is the whole point of this effect?